ISLAMABAD, NETRALNEWS.COM - After running for five years, the Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement (IP-PTA) has been upgraded to become the Indonesia-Pakistan Trade in Goods Agreement (IP-TIGA).
This was disclosed by the Director of Bilateral Negotiations at the Ministry of Trade Ni Made Ayu Marthini, who acted as Chair of the Indonesian Delegation at the first IP-TIGA Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan.
At the meeting, the Pakistan Delegation was led by the Joint Secretary (FTA Wing) of the Ministry of Commerce of Pakistan, Shafiq A. Shahzad.
"IP-PTA, which has been implemented since 2013, has succeeded in significantly increasing bilateral trade between the two countries. For this reason, on the visit of the Indonesian President to Islamabad in January 2018, the two heads of state agreed to upgrade IP-PTA into IP-TIGA which would cover all Indonesian and Pakistani products. This mandate was followed up by the two delegates at this first JNC meeting, "Made said.
At the first meeting of JNC IP-TIGA, the two parties succeeded in finalizing the terms of reference (TOR) as a guide for the next IP-TIGA negotiations. IP-TIGA negotiations will be divided into a number of working groups (WG), namely the Trade in Goods (TIG) WG, WG on Rules of Origin, Customs Procedures, and Trade Facilitation (Rules of Origin, Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation/ROOCPTF), WG on Sanitation and Phytosanitary (SPS), WG on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), and WG on Legal and Institutional Issues (LII).
In addition to completing the TOR, the two delegations also discussed the JNC work plan for the next round of negotiations so that both delegations had the same views and targets in completing the negotiations. The first meeting of the JNC also discussed a number of issues of bilateral cooperation, for example increased trade promotion, and discussed several issues in order to find solutions so that the pace of trade between the two countries could increase.
Made explained, the two negotiators stressed that in the midst of the world economy which is currently covered by various issues due to trade friction, Indonesia and Pakistan actually agreed to work together, conduct trade negotiations to explore the potential of the two countries.
If in the IP-PTA the two countries only provide tariff preferences on a number of products that were mutually agreed upon, then IP-TIGA will cover the entire tariff points of Indonesia and Pakistan to provide maximum benefits for both countries.
"Both delegations believe that IP-TIGA will make the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Pakistan stronger," she said.